Multi-threading in Web 2.0

I’ve been tasked with speeding up a web 2.0 application based on ExtJS 2.2.0 that contains several routines that take up quite a bit of time and, because IE6’s javascript processing engine is less than stellar1, I needed to find a way to “speed things up”.

EnterĀ Ext.TaskMgr, a helpful ExtJS object that is essentially a glorified setTimeout implementation that allows us to run tasks that don’t block execution. This means we can set our more expensive blocks of code to run later but return control back to the user in the meantime. It’s not true multi-threading, but it does allow us to make the user interface a lot more responsive and in an age when users think 5 seconds is an eternity, perception is everything.

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  1. In other words, it sucks pretty bad. []

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